JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Aim-listed Jubilee Platinum’s Middelburg operation has continued its upward production trajectory, delivering 950 t of metal in October – exceeding September’s 840 t record by 13%.
The company said in a trading update on Monday that Middelburg’s operational performance provided the group the opportunity to focus on the recovery of platinum-group metals (PGMs) from the Dilokong chromite mine (DCM) and platinum tailings project, at ASA Metals, in Limpopo.
The project provided access to platinum-containing surface material estimated to exceed 950 000 t.
Jubilee would now increase its beneficial interest in the project by increasing its interest in subsidiary Pollux Investment Holdings, which held the rights to the DCM platinum recovery project, from 67.5% to 92.5%, for R10.7-million.
This would be done through a sale-of-shares agreement, payable in three tranches to replicate the targeted timelines for the execution of the PGM processing plant and expected value-accretion to Jubilee, as well as reduce the upfront issuance of Jubilee shares.
The company had made the same offer to the holder of the remaining 7.5% interest in Pollux, which, if accepted, would give Jubilee 100% ownership of Pollux and proportionate increased interest in the DCM project.
Commenting on the announcement, Jubilee CEO Leon Coetzer said the Middelburg smelter operation had achieved its operational and financial targets, allowing the group to fully focus on bringing the DCM platinum recovery project into operation.
“The project, which focuses on the recovery of PGMs from surface material to produce platinum-containing concentrates, is the next step in Jubilee’s business model targeting continued growth in earnings on the back of the successful Middelburg smelter operations,” he outlined, noting that Jubilee would now look to bring the DCM project to production within the near term.
The group had concluded conceptual layout and three-dimensional design plans for the processing plant for the DCM platinum recovery project and was now considering project funding options to fund the construction and commissioning of the processing plant.
ASA Metals, the owners of the DCM operation, had, meanwhile, given its full support to the DCM platinum recovery project and had confirmed the site on its property for the construction of the PGM processing plant.
The allocated site was adjacent to existing water and power infrastructure, which was expected to lower the required capital for the processing plant, originally estimated at $6-million.
Jubilee had, furthermore, entered into advanced discussions with ASA for the further expansion of the proposed new plant to target the processing of third-party chrome and platinum-containing ore in the region.
“A number of chrome mining opportunities are being explored in the region that require access to a purpose-designed PGM and chrome processing facility, which offers a partnership with ferrochrome producers,” stated the group.
In addition to the above, Jubilee had also, as part of its “continued support for its ongoing subsidiary projects”, agreed to issue a further 7.65-million new Jubilee shares to settle debt of R1.75-million on behalf of its subsidiaries.
The shares were issued at the current trading price of 1.3p a share.